So you got engaged, and you’ve jumped headfirst into planning your Great Day. You were full of joy and anticipation, and maybe you were overwhelmed at first by the sheer amount of “moving parts” that go into the probably biggest party you’ve ever planned in your life. Your Spring 2020 wedding date is drawing close – and suddenly EVERYTHING comes crashing down. COVID-19 has hit many, many couples. Hard. As a wedding planner, I am in the middle of all this heartbreak, disappointment and frustration, trying to help my couples as much as I can.
And now I’m trying to help everyone else out there as well by sharing my professional expertise and advice. I can’t make the situation go away – but maybe I can ease it a little bit for you…
Let me start by saying that I’ve had a couple of wedding re-schedulings over the years, mostly due to illnesses in the family. These situations did not leave my couples any choice, either, so they had to cope as best they could. I would like to share the story of Kate … with its double complication. Her wedding date had been set and her venue booked, in Carmel Valley. Everything seemed to be “on track.” Then, at her Bachelorette Party (!), Kate had a near-fatal accident. Her doctors prepared her parents for the worst. A miracle happened: not only did Kate survive, contrary to all expectations she made a nearly full recovery. Of course, nothing else counted at that time! When Kate was well enough to think of her wedding again – wildfires were engulfing Carmel Valley. Following through with her original wedding plans or even with her original venue was out of the question. At that point, her mother booked my company, A Day Like No Other, to help with rescheduling and actually, starting over again. A few months later than planned, Kate had a dream wedding at a dream venue (the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Half Moon Bay), and she was able to be on the dance floor with her new husband and join back into “normal life” which had become – the most unexpected and most precious gift of all to her.
The downside? One deposit of several thousand dollars was lost. That, in the end, was the only real damage. Needless to say, Kate, her husband and her parents are simply thankful.
Let’s take our cue from that. Please, let’s simply be thankful to be safe and healthy. We can make everything else work!
Here are a few ideas, developed in discussions with those of my couples who had to reschedule… maybe one of them might be a good idea for you as well?
If you have a valid marriage license (chances are: you do!), then you can get married at your home or a friend’s home in a small, intimate ceremony; something like an elopement – you two, your officiant plus parents and siblings only. The “big party” could then be rescheduled to a later date when everything’s back to normal.
If you want to go that route – contact me (email@example.com); I am happy to help you organize that, together with my extensive network of trusted vendors in the SF Bay Area. Here is how: I’ll find you an officiant; many of the top-notch catering companies that you might have booked for your wedding now deliver their delicious food to private homes. There’s your wedding menu! I can get you a photographer to capture the moment (wearing a face mask, if you wish!), a florist who makes you a beautiful bouquet from whatever is available right now, and leaves it on your doorstep – no direct contact necessary, and we can even get you a small wedding cake. Have a glass of champagne and savor the moment… Whether this has ever been done, you want to know? Oh yes, by choice, actually… look at this couple, and how beautiful their wedding day was. The smallest wedding I’ve ever done!
Rescheduling the big party – maybe to the Fall of this year – might even have its advantages. One of my couples had originally planned for an outdoor wedding in early April at a beautiful venue – with notoriously fickle weather due to its exposed location. We were already discussing tenting (a costly proposition), heat lamps, bad weather plans… when the couple was forced to postpone their wedding date due to the shelter-at-home ordinance, the venue offered them a Saturday in early September at no extra cost – with the most glorious, stable weather conditions imaginable. Guess what? My couple is actually happy, relieved and full of new anticipation!
So far, all the venues and vendor in my network have been extremely flexible and accommodating, so do not hesitate to ask YOUR venue and vendors! Most couples will want to keep their venue, so that’s where you ask first. Then you try to line up your vendors and find solutions with those who are unavailable on your new date. Even if your contract stipulates non-refundability of your deposit, your vendor might make an exception or agree to “share the damage” with you. Again, we are happy to help with all of that – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your initial consultation is actually free!
Hard as it may be at this point – let’s try to see the proverbial silver lining and make your wedding unique, personal and unforgettable, no matter what!